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Three DOE Board Members Resign Over Laupahoehoe Charter School Decision

Three members of a panel overseeing Hawaii’s charter schools have resigned over a decision involving a rural Big Island school.

Laupahoehoe Charter School

Charter School Review Panel Chairman Carl Takamura, former Chairwoman Ruth Tschumy and Pualani Akaka resigned Thursday, saying the Board of Education disregarded their work.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/ybOkm8 ) reports Tschumy’s resignation letter cites the board’s reversal of the panel’s decisions on converting Laupahoehoe School into a charter school.

More Here: 3 members of panel overseeing Hawaii charter schools resign over Laupahoehoe conversion | The Republic.

Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School Files Appeal to the Board of Education

On Monday, November 28, 2011, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School filed an appeal to the Board of Education requesting that it allow an amendment to its school plan regarding setting local school board elections. (Click here: Laupahoehoe Charter School Appeal)

Laupahoehoe Charter School

The charter school’s Interim Local School Board is confident that the Board of Education will make sure that the charter school holds fair and legal elections. Under Board of Education rules, the appeal must be decided within 60 days.

In the meantime, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School continues to support the work of the teachers, staff, and unions for fairness in employment, and will soon be accepting registration for incoming kindergarteners.

Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School encourages all current teachers at Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School to consider teaching at the charter school when it officially becomes a charter, on July 01, 2012. The charter school is required by a government Assurances Framework to prepare in case some teachers may choose to teach elsewhere or retire. The charter school is now accepting letters of interest and resumes from qualified State teachers for school year 2012-13.

Interested teachers should contact Loida Navalta, Administrative Consultant at info@laupahoehoecharterschool.com or 808-430-8699.

For questions about the appeal, please contact Interim Local School Board member Steven Strauss 808-969-6684

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US Grant Awarded to Explore Laupahoehoe School Conversion


Media Release:

Laupahoehoe Alumni/Community Association (LACA) dba Save/Improve LHES has been awarded a 3 year U.S. Department of Education grant of up to $150 K per year to continue the process of converting Laupahoehoe High & Elementary School (LHES) to a public charter school. This funding will support planning activities for approximately 12-18 months and implementation tasks for 18-24 months. In a highly competitive process, the U.S. DOE Charter Schools Program awarded only 17 – 23 grants nationwide for this purpose. Save/Improve LHES was the only Hawai`i applicant to be funded this year.

The overall goal of Save/Improve LHES is to convert the existing K-12 DOE school (Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School) to a K-12 public charter school and to create an innovative educational program, open to all students, that will insure success for a diverse student population using a Community School Model and Project-Based Learning curriculum approach.

Two circumstances led Save/Improve LHES to advance conversion of Laupahoehoe High & Elementary School to a public charter school.  First, declining enrollment at LHES has lowered its revenue, resulting in staff layoffs and reduced electives and after-school options for students. Second, the Hawai`i Department of Education has placed LHES on its study list for closure. Given these scenarios, converting LHES to a public charter school emerged as a viable alternative to losing the school, and an opportunity to bring new and innovative educational and enrichment programs to the students as well as other resources the community deems important.

With this end in mind and the financial and programmatic support from the U.S. DOE, Save/Improve LHES plans to involve teachers, school staff, and parents in preparing a draft Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) for a conversion public charter school, and initiate an open, community process to refine the DIP and leverage support and enthusiasm for the plan. A DIP must be prepared in order for a charter school applicant to receive permission to operate a charter school. The DIP would outline the curriculum, electives, after-school activities and other aspects relating to operation of a public charter school.  Save/Improve LHES encourages community members, school staff, teachers, and parents to get involved for the future of our school, our children and our community.